India- Barely two month since Carlos Dahn, a Ministry of Finance employee and student in India was arrested for allegedly raping a Liberian student, another Liberian student, Promise Worzeen Klehkleh has reportedly raped a 22-year-old lady from Zimbabwe.
Information gathered by The Stage Media Liberia, Klehkleh came to India in 2021 to study Mechanical engineering at the Gulzar Group of Institutions (GGP) and is living in a rented apartment outside of the university’s hostel.
TSM investigation has revealed that Klehkleh is a best friend to Carlos, who is also facing trial for reportedly raping a 22-year-old Liberian student in the same state. Both Carlos and Klehkleh are student of the Gulzar Group of Institute.
Our source disclosed, “Klehkleh has been a strong supporter to Carlos wife since he went to jail. He is even the one who is driving Carlos car and take his (Carlo’s) wife around to seek redress ensuring that Carlos is free.”
“This is an evidence of the proverb that says, birds of the same feathers flock together. With his involvement in the same rape case, this may be difficult for his friend because the police will think that, that is their attitude of Liberian men. Remember, the prosecution team are looking for every piece of evidence,” TSM-Liberia source indicated.
The Survivor’s story
According to Hindustan Times Newspaper, Klehkleh was produced in a local court on Wednesday, April 19, 2023 and has been sent to police while he awaits another appearance.
The Hindustan Times report stated that the accused allegedly came close to the survivor on the pretext of helping her with cooking food in his brother rented apartment where he sexually abused her.
The victim, who lived in a rented accommodation in Khanna City, in her complaint to the police on Tuesday told the police that the accused lives in a rented accommodation in the same colony and had invited her to his brother’s room on Tuesday evening.
She said when she entered the room, both brothers were consuming alcohol, adding that she refused their offers to drink along with them.
“I went to the kitchen to cook food for myself that was how he came into the kitchen and started molesting me; despite my resistance, he did not back off and started forcing himself on her,” the survivor said.
She said the accused followed her to her room even after she came back to her home.
The case has been registered under Section 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code at the Khanna City police station.
Loretta Pope-Kai, head, National Civil Society, in an interview told TSM that sex should be consent but men across the world feel that women are their entitlement.
“The way society has normalize the fact that if a man wants to have sex with a woman, he is entitle, so even if she refuses, he has the right to force her to do so,” Pope-Kai said.
She said the issue of rape in the Liberian society has not been fully addressed due to systematical failure.
Pope-Kai said, as it was done with Moses Owen Brown and Daniel Tarr, both Calors and Klehkleh should be tried in India because the reported crime was not committed in Liberia.
She, however, called for speedy investigation to ensure justice; because rape is not a case that should be compromised, adding, “rape is not a family matter that need consultation but a threat to the society that needs to be addressed.”
“Family should step aside whenever there is a rape case and allow justice to be served, this is not an in-house discussion,” Pope-kai told TSM-Liberia.
Siatta Scott-Johnson, President, Female Journalist Association, like Pope-Kai believes that rape has been normalize in the Liberian setting that is the reason men do not see it as a violation or crime.
Scott-Johnson said, to address the issue of rape in Liberia requires family involvement.
“At the level of the family, we need to start to tell our boys that violence against women is wrong and a crime. Taking it from the family level and leading it to the lager society. This is not about women group, but the society at large.”
Like Pope-Kai, Scott-Johnson agreed that the case should be tried in India because that is where the crime was committed.
“Justice delay is not justice denied. In my honest opinion, let the case be tried in India and let the India law deals with them; that will send a signal back home to would be perpetrator,” she said.
Scott-Johnson said the involvement of Liberians in rape cases outside the country is sad and paint an ugly picture for the nation.
Atty. Mmonbeydo Joah, head, Organization for Women and Children, described the alleged rape saga as sad and confirmation of the ENOUGH consultation that was held in Liberia.
She said during the consultation, 60% of the respondents shows justifiable reasons for violence against women.
Joah like previous experts believes that the Liberian government needs to fix the system in handing rape cases and provide accountability for women and girls.
“This is a message to the Liberian government that we need to fix the system and if they think that the only way women and girls can get accountability is outside the country, that is wrong,” Joah said.
Joah agrees with Scott-Johnson that the increase in rape case by Liberian internationally is a shame to the country, as such, it requires ugent attention.
It can be recalled the court in Busan, South Korea, has sentenced Moses Owen Browne, Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in the UK, and Daniel Tarr, Director of the Department of Marine Environmental Protection to nine years in prison each for sexual assault.
By: Hannah N. Geterminah
This story was produced with the Center for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) support.